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History AS & A Level at Cardinal Newman Catholic School ~ A Specialist Arts and Community College

Course description

A Level History has been designed to help students understand the significance of historical events, the role of individuals in history and the nature of change over time. AQA qualifications will help students gain a deeper understanding of the past through political, social, economic and cultural perspectives. The engaging topics available to them throughout the course will provide them with the knowledge and skills they require to succeed as A Level historians.

Course content

1C The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 (Breadth Study) 
This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions: 

  • How effectively did the Tudors restore and develop the powers of the monarchy?
  • In what ways and how effectively was England governed during this period?
  • How did relations with foreign powers change and how was the succession secured?
  • How did English society and economy change and with what effects?
  • How far did intellectual and religious ideas change and develop and with what effects?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

2J America: A Nation Divided, c1845–1877 (Depth Study) 
This option provides for a study in depth of the challenges faced by the USA at home and abroad as it emerged from the Second World War as a Superpower. This option allows students to explore the following areas of American history:

  • Post-war prosperity; how this was not shared by all at the time.
  • Investigate the significant problems at home and abroad that challenged the ‘American dream’.
  • Explore anti-communism, social equality, ethnic identities and federal versus states’ rights.  
  • It also encourages students to reflect on the nature of democracy in a pluralist society, political protest and the power of the media.

Component 3: Historical investigation (nonexam assessment) 
Through undertaking the Historical Investigation students will develop an enhanced understanding of the nature and purpose of history as a discipline and how historians work. The Historical Investigation contributes towards meeting the aims and objectives of the A Level specification. In particular it encourages students to: 

  • Ask relevant and significant questions about the past and undertake research
  • Develop as independent learners and critical and reflective thinkers
  • Acquire an understanding of the nature of historical study
  • Organise and communicate their knowledge and understanding in a piece of sustained writing

Entry requirements

The entry requirement is that a student must have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C.


  • A Level - 2 examinations and a historical investigation (coursework).
  • Both exams will be 2hrs 30 min and worth 40% each.
  • The coursework is the historical investigation and is worth the final 20%.

Financial information

Future opportunities

  • Academic librarian
  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Editorial assistant
  • Information officer
  • Politician’s assistant
  • Solicitor

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cardinal Newman Catholic School ~ A Specialist Arts and Community College directly.

Last updated date: 21 December 2016
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